Windows Phone 8: To be or not to be?

Sergei Terekhov

Written by Sergei Terekhov | Thursday, 13 March 2014

If Microsoft fails to develop a mobile platform with a user-friendly interface, interesting features and a set of essential applications - in short, if Windows Phone 8 fails to attract users, the company will either have to put up with a 3-5% share of the mobile market or leave it entirely.

 Such a failure may directly affect other companies, such as Nokia, which made all their bets on this new platform, provided by software developers from Microsoft. But to compete with Apple and Google, the company needs more than just pretty gadgets, because they will defend their territory fiercely. 

Here are some of the things which Microsoft must take into account: 

Smartphones running Windows Phone 8 must have superior hardware, of the same quality as Google. If a Windows-based phone cannot outdo the iPhone, perhaps ten Windows-based devices can, especially if each of them has some unique features.

The iPhone has proven its market appeal, but other smartphone models, such as the Galaxy S III or the Nokia Lumia 920, with its advanced camera capabilities, could be a good opportunity to market a Windows-based OS. 

Operating systems for mobile devices should be as bug-free as possible, as well as intuitive and integrated. Users shouldn't be fumbling around for options and features: the interface should make it easy to connect accessories, synchronize with the cloud, download music and make backups. Microsoft has years of experience in software development and integration, which should be helpful in this perspective. Windows Phone 8 will have a similar design to the Windows 8 OS, thereby creating a homogenous environment. This means that Windows Phone 8 will have a powerful brother-in-arms to fight against its competitors. 

Android is no longer an open-source startup, but still retains the image of a system which provides freedom of choice. Many think that Microsoft products have been deprecated, and that the company's best times are gone. Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 may be able to rehabilitate Microsoft in the public eye, if the company proves that its software is indispensable. To get rid of its image of an old and untidy giant, Microsoft must take into account that average users are getting younger, more experienced and demanding. 

Apps, apps and more apps
Microsoft delays the release of a software development kit and thus deprives other developers of the opportunity to release their applications, but also of the ability to develop Windows-based mobile phone applications. This is the source of one of Windows Phone's main disadvantages - a small number of available applications. The iPhone App Store offers more than 700 thousand, Google Play - about 675 thousand. By comparison, the Windows Phone Store has just passed the 126 thousand mark. 

This is not to say, however, that Microsoft should be taken lightly. In addition to extensive experience in app development, the company also has expertise in market capturing and should put it in application to regain credibility on the mobile phone market.

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